1873 Tasting Notes
First, my apologies to K S, who graciously shared a bit ages ago, and I have been remiss in expressing my thanks…because this is tasty! It also holds up well to mistreatment (the baggie got wedged behind a couple of tins and I didn’t know it was there).
I don’t do Darjeeling often, so when I do, I’m pleasantly surprised. This particular variety is one of the “grapiest” Darjeelings I’ve tried; after half a cup, my mouth feels like I’ve had fruit juice. It has a …mmm, not delicate, maybe elegant or refined personality and would, no doubt, taste better from Grandma’s teacups than my battered Tervis tumbler that has suddenly started to behave like a dribble glass.
When I bought a box of 100 bags cheeeeeep at Big Lots for a lark, I thought I’d never go through it…so why are we down to a mere 20 or so? This is a serviceable, friendly, not fussy blend. The green adds a little bit of perk to an otherwise ordinary black tea and takes sloppy and absent-minded steeping without kicking back. This afternoon, it’s very pleasant on ice.
Made this with the intent of three warm sips, then ice it down at work…and suddenly I find there is very little left to ice. (Ever do that? Just look down and your cup is mysteriously empty?) Unsweetened, it has a little bit of a bitter edge to the sip—not sure if that’s sloppy steeping or if it’s a natural trait of huckleberries. You sweet people might like a bit of sugar or syrup in this, but otherwise, it’s a natural for summer sipping. Chilled, if you can let it alone that long.
Hot, hot, hot today. Last night, I dumped three heaping teaspoons from the Junkyard Tea Jar into a quart of water and let it fridge (fridge can be a verb, yes) overnight. Bitter dark chocolate today. Adjustments to quantity and steep time (I’m thinking less may be more as the jar now stands) will change the mix. Love the sunshine, but I’m ready for real tea weather again.
K S, I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this sample you sent. Even after unintentionally abandoning it at the bottom of my sample basket, it smells like Mom’s homemade strawberry jam. Flavor is spot-on, not a bit of artificiality.
It’s so hot this week (upper 90’s; air thick and syrupy) and so busy this week (VBS at church—kids, choreography, and climbing flight after flight of stairs to activities), I’ve been getting only one small cuppa in the morning. Glad this was it!
Strong stuff; not for the faint of heart; heavy, dark and sharp to pucker mouth and tongue. You’ll likely want less than the full teaspoon I used or a generous wallop of milk. I left it to the point of bitterness this morning, somewhat deliberately, but I’m also getting a little waft of something floral. That may be the CTC, or an improperly cleaned steeping basket.
As a candidate for president of the HHH society (Heartily Hate Hibiscus), I will confess to scrunching up my face in preparation for eye-stinging tartness when I stirred a quarter teaspoon of this bright red powder into a chilled pint of water.
Surprise! Not one sting, not one tear, not one grimace: just a nice cool sip of fruit and flowers. Lovely cold on a muggy day. I was light on the powder, but even strengthened a little, the rose keeps that pushy H from taking over. Nicely done!
Simply due to the season, I’ve been trying my Chi Whole Leaf samples chilled. Still a couple to go, but this is my favorite so far. The rooibos and spices play nicely, with nobody obnoxiously clamoring for attention. Cold, it has a little bit of a root beer vibe to it. I can see this as a lovely latte when the weather cools down, and there’s a lot to be said for the ease of prep. No muss, no fuss, stir and get on with it!